Filmmaker Kyle Roberts is coming to Comic-Con International for the first time, and he’s bringing his passion project, “The Posthuman Project,” with him to be included in the event’s International Film Festival.
“It’s always been a life goal to at some point go. So the fact that there is a film screening at SDCC that I directed is pretty surreal,” says Roberts.
Now in its 15th year, the Comic-Con International Film Festival (CCI-IFF) has gone global, with submissions from Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Spain and more. The genre films submitted are broken down into seven categories: action/adventure, animation, comics-oriented, documentary (pop culture-oriented), horror/suspense, humor/parody and science fiction/fantasy. This year, the films will be judged by last year’s winner Dave Gallegos, actor Doug Jones and cosplay professional and Film School co-head Valerie Perez.
The Emmy-winning Roberts is the owner of Reckless Abandonment Pictures, an independent motion picture company based in Oklahoma City, and in 2012 Roberts was selected to compete on Syfy’s first season of “Viral Video Showdown.” His work has also been featured here on Hero Complex with posts on his spoofy stop-motion tributes to “X-Men,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Tron: Legacy” and even 007 James Bond himself. But it’s his selection to be included in the CCI-IFF that has him most excited.
Hero Complex caught up with Roberts as he prepared to debut “The Posthuman Project” on Saturday and asked him a few questions about the film and its Comic-Con prospects.
Hero Complex: The trailer for “The Posthuman Project” has a tone that is somewhat reminiscent of “Chronicle.” What influences informed the writing/direction of “The Posthuman Project?”
Kyle Roberts: John Hughes is my all-time favorite director, so from the very beginning I wanted to make a teen film that felt very real, but also kind of had the “flare” if you will of J.J. Abrams… and do that on a micro budget. We knew going into it that we weren’t going to have a $200 million-budget or even a $12-15 million [budget of something like] “Chronicle.” So how do we do this? From the start we carefully hand-crafted our film with everything from writing, production gear, lighting, actors, SFX, VFX and of course the soundtrack/score of the film to hopefully play out as this indie superhero flick with a heart and vibe different from other in its genre.
HC: What were some of the obstacles you had to overcome in making this particular film, and how long did it take?
KR: This sounds like a cop-out, but the biggest obstacle every department head will tell you is trying to do something of this scale on a micro budget. From concept to final product was just over two years. We spent a year fundraising, writing and pre-production, doing everything we can to raise money… With the soundtrack being such an important part of the film and my background with music videos we had three benefit concerts, two Indiegogo campaigns, a massive benefit dinner and several other smaller things along the way. Production itself only took 26 days spread out over four months. We shot all over Oklahoma from Quartz Mountain Resort to Lake Thunderbird, OKC Rocktown, Yukon High School and several other locations. Post-production on the film took 10 months. We had more than 530 shots that needed some type of VFX work.
HC: As an indie project, how did you get your backing, and where’d you find the actors?
KR: One thing to note is that it was very important to me on this project to not have stereotypical investors that put X-amount in and then are hovering over our shoulders the entire time making sure it was worth their investment. I believe at the end of the day for this particular project, that is what made it great. We were freed up to make the film we set out to make. And actually the fact that it was 100% crowd-funded is what kept me and the cast and crew going when shooting and editing until 6 a.m. We knew people believed in us and wanted to see this film come to life. The very talented Michelle DeLong was our casting director. For the five leads we had several hundred people audition from all over Oklahoma of course, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and a few from L.A. It was an honor to work with all of our leads and exciting to see them live out their dreams and succeed in their profession.
HC: When did you first find out about the Comic-Con International Film Festival?
KR: I actually didn’t hear anything about Comic-Con Film Festival until we were close to wrapping up the film. Wendy Parker, one of our producers, sent me a link where they were accepting submissions and the deadline was two weeks away. We were still several weeks from our projected deadline, already crunching as fast as we [could]. I made a few phone calls, mainly to Hanon Sound, our post production sound guys, and Steven Battles and Colin Nance, who were wrapping up the score, and asked them yet again after working for a fraction of what they are used to getting paid if we could double up our hours and get this done in time. They all thought I was crazy, but we worked together and got it done in time to submit to the festival. Like a lot of indie films there was an insane amount of creative passion that you have to have to do something this nuts.
HC: What do you hope to get out of the festival itself?
KR: Well our first two festivals we sold out shows and won big awards, so I expect the same here. Just kidding…. We are just along for the ride. We are ready to have a great showing and Q&A after. We’ll do our best to mingle, have fun and see what tiny splash we can make at the daddy of all cons. No matter where we take the film, I’m not expecting much. We know that we made the best film we can possibly make and hope that speaks for itself. I hope the film will inspire young filmmakers in that you don’t need a bloated Hollywood budget to make something great.
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